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Publisher's Summary

Everything we now know about the universe - from the behavior of quarks to the birth of galaxies - has come from people who've been willing to ponder the unanswerable. And with the advent of modern science, great minds have turned to testing and experimentation rather than mere thought as a way of grappling with some of the universe's most vexing dilemmas.

So what is our latest picture of some of the most inexplicable features of the universe? What still remains to be uncovered and explored by today's scientists?

"We know a lot about the universe. But there's even more that we don't know," says astrophysicist and professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, an award-winning lecturer, and one of the world's foremost experts on the secrets of the universe. This course, which has been honored with a 2013 Telly Award for Outstanding Educational Program, features six self-contained lectures that transport you on a marvelous journey to the frontiers of the known (and unknown) universe and introduce you to tantalizing questions being addressed by the world's top scientists. Engaging and fascinating, this lecture series is a wonderful entrée to scientific pursuits that lie at the very heart of the history and nature of our universe.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

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"The Universe is in us!"

This is a short course on the Universe by Neil de Grasse Tyson which I enjoyed but in some ways it wasn't as good as his television show on the same subjects. Listening isn't as fun as seeing and hearing!

The 6 classes are as follows:
1.History's Mysteries
This class talks about some things that were mysteries but can be explained now with our current knowledge. Examples are the course of Mercury and the mysteries "ether" that scientists believed the Universe was made of.

2.The Spooky Universe
This class gives you examples of weird things that are ongoing within the Universe. The fact that in 1897 electrons were "discovered" but no one has still ever seen one. We learn about particle physics and thermonuclear fusion.

3. Inexplicable Life
This course was one of the best to me. Professor Tyson talks about how life began, and why aren't there different ways life evolved on the earth. Would it be possible life evolved on Mars and then came to Earth? He also talks about how arrogant humans are in searching for intelligent life in the Universe.

4. Inexplicable Physics
I never took Physics in High School so a lot of this was all new to me. He talks about string theory and what will happen if you go through a black hole!

5. Inexplicable Space
This one focuses on dark matter and dark energy. Strange stuff!

6. Inexplicable Cosmology
This class tells of quantum foam, the multiverse, antimatter, and tachyons. He also talks about the possibilities of how the earth and Universe will end. Is there anything else out there?

This was enjoyable, not as in depth as I would have liked, but it's a great course for piquing your interest in further studies.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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An enjoyable short course

In contrast to the expansive delivery style he used in Cosmos, Dr. Tyson's easy-going lectures seem much more intimate, as if he's talking directly to you. It was a joy to listen to him on my long commutes. The six lectures ended far too soon.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Great Learning Experience

What did you love best about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

I love to learn, and this set of lectures contains a lot of valuable, thought provoking material.

Have you listened to any of Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not. Although I have watched Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Just as good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not sure it really applies. Although there is a video version of this already on Netflix.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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A journey with a genius

Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson is known to stand out because of his staying in touch with the world around him, and knows how to break down and explain sophisticated models and theories to the layman.

In this course, he explains the greatest mysteries of modern science. Definitely worth listening to, probably more than once.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wow! I never knew!

What did you love best about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

A top notch expert explains the details of these mysteries in the most engaging fashion. He keeps your interest up and you wish he had another 3 hours to tell more of the mysteries.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The prof. He explains very intricate details in a way that is easy to understand. I'd like to hear mote.

What about Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson’s performance did you like?

He was clear, detailed and spoke at a level that I could understand and found very interesting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Hard to put down.

Any additional comments?

Well done and very entertaining.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Excellent lectures but not new material

I was exceited to listen to courses taught by Neil deGrasse Tyson as he is one of my favorite lectures however I was disappointed by this audiobook as it does not cover any new material.
I would not recommend this series to those who have listened to other lectures from Neil deGrasse Tyson or who have studied in this area. However, it is a great short series for those new to the subject.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Greate Mysteries--Solved, Unsolved, Unimaginable

Mysteries of the universe, solved and unsolved. . . hmm.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is such an enthusiastic lecturer, I can imagine he could make just about any topic fascinating. He talks about some of the greatest mysteries of our universe, a few that have been already solved and others that we are currently struggling with and may never in our lifetimes find the answers to. He talks about mysteries that keep him up at night and some that defy current imagination. He talks about the existence of mysteries that we don't even have the intelligence or current knowledge to wonder about.

Should we even worry or fret or care about mysteries we cannot solve or even imagine? What was it like when the universe was formed? How about when it will eventually die? Are there parallel universes? What in the heck is dark matter or dark energy? Why should we even care?

If any of these questions interest you, I suggest you get this selection from The Great Courses. It is guaranteed to feel too short for you, no matter what your knowledge base or curiosity index is. It is guaranteed to be fascinating, anyway.

Now, I have to check and see if I can find any other books by deGrasse Tyson. He is a wonderful lecturer! He is worth pursuing further.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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The Inexplicable Explained

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of best known physicists working today because of his ability to explain mind-blowingly complex science to civilians. In this short lecture series, he attempts to apply his unique ability to explain things to things he himself calls inexplicable -- atomic and sub-atomic particles, black holes, dark matter and dark energy, the multiverse, genesis, the origin of the universe, et. al.

And he largely succeeds. In such a short course, he does not have the luxury of giving us background on every building block of science, so it certainly helps to come into this already knowing something about the periodic table, for example, or the general theory of relativity -- not at the Ph.D. level, just at the high school level. Even so, there is something here for everyone who has ever been curious about our origins and how we've come to know what we do know about it and how we are attempting to expand our knowledge into areas that remain mysterious and seem unsolvable.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Don't pay full price

Tremendous disappointment. More informative as a demonstration of irony than of science or "mysteries" This is grade school or Disney level science at best until the last two chapters. Those aren't worth the full price, either. In short, this should NOT be called a "great course" it is neither.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Love it

Very pleasing to listen to... Very understandable even if you know the science its good to have a revision...

I love all the books in this series

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • paul
  • 01-04-15

Great!

Simply astounding! Neil's has such a way with his words. He speaks with such clarity that complex matters seem simple.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. J. Cole
  • 05-12-15

Just fascinating

This series of lectures by your personal astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson covers a lot of ground but as ever, Neil makes it enjoyable.
Keep looking up....

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • matthew
  • 11-25-17

universal <br />

love it will listen to this over and over again
fantastic wealth of knowledge and handed over in a really entertaining way

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  • D. G. Mathias
  • 03-23-17

another great lecture

A great lecture by a great communicator of physics. Not found a bad lecture from these guys.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-23-16

Makes none thinkers think!

Really cool book that can be listened to in one hit. Cool, interesting subject matter that makes me want to find out more about spooky quantum physics. The narrator is a dude I've seen on Ted talks, he's great at bringing the subject to life and didn't disappoint here either.

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  • a addison
  • 11-21-15

amazing lectures

This is the best great courses audio so far I love the alien life lecture and collision with andromeda lecture best of all was the dark matter lecture if there is a parrall universe that is the opposite of us you would have a world with no hunger no war no greed and no poverty no wonder the scientists of that world if is out there want nothing to do with us I'd add my food for thought to professor degrasse tyson what if that's why we are not able access because they don't want us

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  • Gary
  • 10-20-15

great narration

Neil deGrasses's passion and enthusiasm shines through. One or two explanations can be difficult to grasp. overall great narration, easy to listen to and thought provoking.

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  • A C S
  • 08-09-15

Really interesting set of lectures

It was such a thought provoking set of ideas and was presented in such a way as you make you feel like you are keeping up. The last time I did physics was when I was 16 and although that was 20 years ago I wasn't at any point in time adrift from the concepts. However when I tried to repeat back the concepts I realised further study would be required.

The only complaint I would make is the faltering, stop starting, coming up with ideas presentation of the material. It could at points be offputting however the content of his lectures was so good that I forgave those moments. But if you are the sort of person who is easily distracted from following if there are breaks in the orators performance then you are going to be continuously irritated.

I would recommend this set of lectures and if you can get it on discount like I managed to then you will feel very, very proud of your purchase.

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  • Mr S Oliver
  • 08-07-15

A brilliant overview of an immense subject

Brilliant narration, simplifying and bringing to life the amazing universe.

Really enjoyed it and wanted to learn even more when it ended.

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  • Ron
  • 08-04-15

A little bit more learnt

I found this pitched just about right for me, though I did struggle at times, science not being my strong point. I enjoyed the bite size lecture approach, which did help, I may look into more of what they produce based on this

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  • HH
  • 10-28-16

Very short

What disappointed you about The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries?

Way too short and covers roughly the same ground as every other lecture on cosmolgy you've ever listened to. Nothing new here at all.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful